The Norwegian University for Life Science (NMBU) is now hosting NordGen Farm Animals.
NordGen Farm Animals is working for the conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources of our Nordic farm animals. This means that we want endangered breeds such as the Finnish and Swedish mountain cattle, the Icelandic goat and the Norwegian Fjord Horse to survive.
“When we now move to NMBU we will get better facilities better adapted to our needs and can benefit from the synergic effects of being close to cutting edge research of animal science and conservation of genetic resources. This is important because so many of our farm animals are critically endangered today. In many of the Nordic countries, their survival is entirely in the hands of committed enthusiasts”, says Mervi Honkatukia, Section Leader at NordGen Farm Animals.
An important part in NordGen Farm Animal’s work is to create incentives for farmers to choose to keep traditional breeds instead of commercial ones that will give a higher yield. Two examples of that is the projects NordMilk and NordMeat, which are aiming at finding and lifting properties among the animals that can be of interest for the consumers, and thereby making them willing to pay more.
“For example, we’ve seen that the milk of the mountain cattle contains a protein making it very suitable for cheese production. And we can see a rising interest among restaurants to serve meat from for example the Swedish pig called Linderödsgrisen. This is good news. ‘Eat them to save them’ is proverb we often use when we talk about native farm animals” Mervia Honkatukia says.
NordGen Farm Animal’s new address is Husdyrbygningen, Arboretveien 6, NMBU Campus Ås in Norway.